The NSW Government’s announcement of a comprehensive review of the NSW school curriculum should provide the reset our school system needs to ensure that our next generation of students have the skills and capabilities that will be required in the future, according to the state’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber.

“With growing skill shortages and a school system that hasn’t had comprehensive reform for decades, the Government’s commitment to put the entire school curriculum under the microscope is timely,” said NSW Business Chamber Chief Executive, Stephen Cartwright.

“With NAPLAN tests commencing today, it is a further reminder that school curriculums, teaching methods and resources must be flexible enough to ensure that all students are getting the support they need to meet expected levels of performance,” Mr Cartwright said.

“Reviewing the entire curriculum means that we can identify the best and earliest opportunities to intervene and give additional support to students.  It should also focus on ensuring students get access to professional careers advice and support.

“Australia’s slide down international education rankings clearly shows that our school system is failing too many young people. At the same time businesses across the state are struggling with skills shortages.

“It’s also vital that we don’t forget about those who don’t plan to go to university. There is a desperate need to invest more in Vocational Education & Training to ensure we have the skilled workforce for the future, particularly in areas like construction, human services, and hospitality where we have acute skills shortages.

“In 2017, the NSW Business Chamber released its Old School/New School: Transforming school education for the 21st century Report.

“Developed in consultation with business and education leaders, teachers, parents and, importantly, students, Old School/New School called for a radical rethink of our approach to school education to properly prepare our kids for a satisfying career and life after school.

“Our research highlighted the need for a school system that provides better support for teachers, more flexible models of learning and a greater focus on vocational education. We need a greater focus on education that provides earning or learning outcomes as well as requisite enterprise and career counselling so that they not only survive but thrive in their chosen profession,” Mr Cartwright said.

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